Michigan Association of School Administrators

Your Success. Our Passion.

Member Blogs

Blog Authors

David Britton, Godfrey-Lee
Rich Franklin, Athens
Scot Graden, Saline
Tony Habra, Rudyard
Jerry Jennings, MASA
Michele Lemire, Escanaba
Vickie Markavitch, Oakland
Steve Matthews, Novi
Mike Paskewicz, Northview


MASA members: If you have a blog that you would like us to link please contact jharder@gomasa.org

Educational Inequality & Why School Funding Matters

Written by David Britton on Sep 13, 2014
From Bruce Baker's Anatomy of Educational Inequality & Why School Funding Matters:

We are being led down a destructive road to stupid – by arrogant , intellectually bankrupt, philosophically inconsistent, empirically invalid and often downright dumb ideas being swallowed whole and parroted by an increasingly inept media – all, in the end creating a massive ed reform haboob distracting us from the relatively straightforward needs of our public schools. Many of the issues plaguing our current public education system require mundane, logical solutions – or at least first steps. Money matters. Having more helps and yes, having less hurts, especially when those who need the most get the least. Equitable and adequate funding are prerequisite conditions either for an improved status-quo public education system OR for a structurally reformed one. It’s just that simple.

Anatomy of Educational Inequality & Why School Funding Matters | School Finance 101


Yep!

Information for Families regarding EV-D68

Written by Scot Graden on Sep 11, 2014
This message was sent to all Saline Area Schools Families on September 10th: Saline Families,

You may be aware of recent news reports regarding a strain of enterovirus (EV-D68) causing widespread illness in parts of the United States. As of September 9th, we have had no confirmed cases of this particular virus strain in Washtenaw County however, we are working closely with the Washtenaw County Health Department to monitor this situation. In the school setting, we are taking extra precautions to monitor for illness among our students and to increase hand washing efforts. Hand washing is the single most important strategy we can use to prevent the spread of illness in general.

What is Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68)?
Enteroviruses are very common viruses. There are more than 100 types of enteroviruses. It is estimated that 10 to 15 million enterovirus infections occur in the United States each year. Most enterovirus infections in the U.S. occur seasonally during the summer and fall. In fact, enteroviruses are the second most frequent cause of “the common cold.” Unlike the majority of enteroviruses that cause a variety of symptoms, EV-D68 has been associated almost exclusively with respiratory disease and causes mild to unusually severe respiratory illness. EV-D68 infections occur much less often than other enterovirus strains, but like other strains, EV-D68 spreads through close contact with infected people.

What are the symptoms to watch for?
People who are infected with EV-D68 can have a range of symptoms, from mild to severe illness requiring hospitalization.

Symptoms may include:
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Cough
  • New onset wheezing
  • Fever
  • Tachycardia (fast heartbeat)

For more information about EV-D68 and links to other sources, please visit the Washtenaw County Public Health site at:

http://www.ewashtenaw.org/government/departments/public_health/news/2014-news-items/enterovirus-d68-michigan-information

As always, please feel free to contact Karan Hervey, District Nurse at (734)429-8000, extension 4160 or at hervekar@salineschools.orgwith any questions or concerns. Thank you, Scot Graden

Let's Read!

Written by Steve Matthews on Sep 10, 2014

My wife and her book club recently celebrated their 15th anniversary. For 15 yeats this group of women has met monthly to discuss books and to support one another.

Why would a person be willing to commit to a group for such a long period of time?

First, books are powerful. They can move us to action; they can move us to tears; they can move us to reach beyond ourselves.

Second, groups are powerful. We develop strong bonds with one another that become difficult to break.

Combne the power of books and the power of a group and a wonderfully engaging and strong combination emerges.

In conjunction with the Novi Public Library we have started a Parent-to-Parent Book Club. Our first meeting will be on September 23 where we will discuss The Motivation Breaktrhough: 6 secrets to turning on the tuned-out child by Richard Lavoie.

I would invite you to join us. Books are available at the Novi Public Library. Or you could buy a copy like I did.

Sign up with the Novi Public Library. (Click on the "Adults" tab and find the information on the Parent-to-Parent Book club.)

Please come join us!

I'm OK and evidently you are as well

Written by Steve Matthews on Sep 09, 2014
The vast majority of Michigan teachers are rated as effective or highly effective. The latest numbers posted by the Michigan Department of Education are from the 2012-2013 school year. They show that 97% of teachers were rated as effective or highly effective. (Look here for details. For the percentage click on the "percentage" tab.)

Outrageous! Unacceptable!

But why?

How many doctors are rated effective or highly effective?

I don't know. I can't find on the state of Michigan's website a list anywhere that rates doctors.

My guess is that most doctors - probably over 90% - would be rated effective or highly effective.

Yet, there are a lot of people who are obese. There are a lot of people who don't exercise. There are a lot of people who have high blood pressure. There are a lot of people who do not engage in a healthy lifestyle.

Still - most doctors would be rated as effective or highly effective.

But we don't know. Because the state of Michigan does not publish a list that rates doctors.

How many Certified Public Accountants are rated effective or highly effective? Or financial planners? Or dieticians? Or legislators?

My guess is that in most professions the vast majority of professionals are rated effective or highly effective. After all most professionals have college degrees, have lots of experience, and participate in ongoing training.

Yet, there are a lot of people whose finances are in trouble or who can't plan a meal or who can't legislate. But do we blame the accountants or the financial planners or the dieticians or the politicians?

We also don't know because the state of Michigan does not provide a rating list of CPA's or financial planners or dieticians or legislators.

Are there bad teachers and administrators?

Absolutely!

Should bad teachers and administrators be evaluated out of their profession?

Absolutely!

Historically, education has done a bad job of evaluating educators.

But, I would argue, that most professions have done a bad job of evaluating themselves.

That does not excuse the historically poor job educators have done in rating teachers and administrators. Rating educators is important. Teachers and administrators work with children and have a tremendous influence on their lives.

We must get educator evaluation right. But just because most end up being rated as effective does not mean the system is broken.